Shutdown? Or situation? . . . due to the whadyacallit, “the information on this site may not be current . . .”

By on .

In the wake of reports that the Department of Health and Human Services issued recent “style guidelines” advising agency staffers crafting budget proposals to avoid certain words, it was a comfort to note that at least when funding fails altogether, the wording is wide open . . .

The “situation”

For the Department itself, the approach to describing in one word the closing of government offices following Congressional failure to agree on spending and policy priorities for the coming fiscal year could be described as delicate . . .

“A Lapse”

For the National Institutes of Health vague, but optimistic . . .*

“Shutdown”

Perhaps accustomed to the need for commonly understood parlance when communicating public health information, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ** went with the most widely used phrase, proving no style guide advised against it . .

The outcome is the same in any case — the information on their sites will not be current, and neither will the work on many of the priorities agreed to in last years budget. . .

 * USAID also went with “lapse”

**And the U.S. Food and Drug Administration went with “shutdown.”

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